Friday, July 27, 2007

The Gripefest is Over

With over $1 million Aussie households in housing stress, and 187,000 on Public Housing Waiting Lists, (and that's only because the other million know they have a snowflakes), DH feels totally churlish about her constant grizzling and griping from the comfort of her Inner West pied-a-terre.

Not to mention the coming peak oil crunch

This is no time for satire, folks.

Perhaps she should be following Brother Kevin Bornagainhoeffer's lead. If he's getting out of the business of holding Gripefests about the Howard Government, maybe he knows the bottom's about to fall out of the market ...

Maybe DH should invest in Housing Affordability Research Council Futures instead.

Doesn't sound like half as much fun but.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bermuda triangle found hovering over D'oH Broadway!

Public Housing tenants previously dismissed as crackpots when claiming that something weird was going down at Broadway D'OH have been vindicated.

Now scientists think they have the answer, thanks to the investigations of Urbanologist, Dr Desiderata Hauser.

Dr Hauser had long
puzzled over one of the enduring mysteries of 21st century science: "Why hasn't anything gone missing in the Bermuda Triangle for yonks??? Where has it gone?"

Hearing persistant reports of a communications blackhole in the vicinity of Broadway, Dr Hauser followed a hunch, and investigating further, found that D'oH tenants in the Inner West repeatedly claimed that:

  • phone calls into the Broadway system are never returned
  • promises that "your CSO is out in the field but will call back this afternoon" fly out the window never to be heard of again
  • team leaders vanish without trace
  • no one has seen a CSO or a team leader since 2003 anyway
  • rent subsidy forms promised for "tomorrow's" mail never arrive
  • returned rent subsidy forms simply vanish
  • maintenance contractors reportedly "coming tomorrow" are never heard of again
Rather than dismissing these claims as the ravings of layabouts trying to rort the system, or mentally ill bozos who wouldn't know if they were flying blind in a vortex anyway, Dr DH redoubled her investigations.

That was when she noticed a strange phenomenon high in the stratosphere directly over D'oH's Broadway HQ. It appeared to be some kind of whirlwind made up of little unidentified flying rectangular objects.

A quick squizz from the Hubble telescope revealed that the UFOS were in fact millions of Post-It and "While You Were Out" notes circulating in a cloud of hot air and broken promises.

"Suddenly," Dr DH reports, "it all clicked! I immediately recognised this stratospheric anomaly as being none other than the long lost Administrative Arm of the Bermuda Triangle!"

Dr DH's further investigations revealed the exact pathway of this disturbing phenomenon. It seems that when D'oH call centres receive a message, they either write it on a Post-It note and stick it on the nearest computer screen, or else they fill out a "While you were out" docket and leave it on the relevant officer's desk.

To all outward appearances, a simple and ingenious communications strategy. But unfortunately there was a serious flaw in the system:

Ever night, the cleaners open the windows to air the premises!

That's when the Bermuda Triangle does its dastardly work. In less time than it takes to evaluate a feasability study, it simply sucks all the hopes and prayers of the tenant body straight up into that big admin section in the sky, there to circulate eternally in bureaucratic limbo!

The Hauser Report's Final Recommendation:

D'oH should either close the windows, or get a computer-based office communications strategy.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

How to earn $1210 a week, and end up only $187 better off than the poor sods on Newstart! ERRATUM:

ERRATUM: DH has major egg on the face. She got it all wrong, as explained in the comments section. She's not as poor as she thinks and actually has $394 a week to pay for all the items in green. It's not brilliant but its survivable.

A new spreadsheet will be uploaded when she has the energy.

[Note income = $1050 + $160 (young adult child's generous (!?) disability pension)

Disposable Income???

$394 (234 + 160) must cover:

FOOD, MEDICATIONS, EDUCATION, REPAIRS, CLOTHES, MEDICAL GAP FEES, DENTAL AND OPTOMETRY COSTS, BANK FEES, SAVINGS, holidays, entertainment, textbooks, courses, educational excursions, white goods, furnishings, doctor's visits, hospitalisations, memberships, subscriptions, charity donations, cultural events.

SAVINGS??? What savings?

CAR? DH has long ago turned necessity into a virtue, and consoles herself that she is choosing not to own a car, rather than priced out of it.

HOLIDAYS??? DH and child have not been able to afford a holiday away in longer than 2 days away in the last 2 years.

DH considers herself fortunate not to be renting in the private market. She has NO IDEA how private renters survive the current housing crisis, totally sympathises, and hopes it will not create a climate of prejudice and downward envy of public housing tenants. It is too easy for populist governments to divide and rule battlers by setting the weak on the weaker.

At least for the first 3 months, with a TEIS* rebate, she will be better off by abt $419, and can hopefully catch up on some of her needs.

*TEIS: Tenant Employment Incentive Subsidy, whereby rent doesn't change from full subsidy for 3 months.

Punitive new regime at CRS (Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service)

Another unheralded "nasty" from the Howard Hoons. CRS, formerly known as the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service, as of 1st of July, has been forced to turn over its booking schedule to the tender mercies of the Kafkalink computer system. As readers of this blog know, Centrelink has a computer system that couldn't go two rounds with a headless chook.
What this means for the clients of CRS, and other disability employment services is, that people with disabilities requiring these specialist services, will now be subject to the same punitive system of breaches as all the other Serfs in Kafkalink's Empire of NoChoices for a $240 odd a week. It's nothing less than a system of Industrial Conscription/
BTW, here for your edification is Centrelink's absurdist definition of disability:
If you have a disability that is chronic, and stable, and under control, you are obliged to work 15 hours a week.
If you have a disability that is undiagnosed, not stable and not under control, you are obliged to work 30 hours a week!
Go figure!!!!
Now how many jobs are there that offer just 30 hours a week?
So it's 37.5 hours a week for you my friend!

Monday, July 02, 2007

DH accepts Individual Contract thru gritted teeth

With Centrelink's big stick behind her making sure she accepts whatever conditions the Howard Govts business cronies care to impose, DH has accepted an individual contract at $30 per hour, the same rate she was paid about 5 years ago for similar work.

How much has the cost of living gone up in the past 5 years???. Of course, at an hourly rate, she will be paying her own super out of that, plus no sick pay, no holiday pay, no rights.

What gets on her nerves is the unholy alliance of Howard Costello and Hamilton, yes, that's Clive Hamilton, telling us we've never had it so good!
OTOH, she will be working in an area co-ordinating the supply of housing to people with disabilities so she is quite excited at the prospect of doing something that she values.

But isn't it disgusting the way people who work in the public sector get screwed because they are prepared to sacrifice wages for the common good?
Thank goodness DH waived her TEIS with her last job as it was part-time and and at a much lower rate (now it can be told, DH was working for DOH, so now you know why she never has a go at them anymore. They were SO nice!) so she will not be getting an increase in rent for the next 3 months.

This is her big chance to make a killing!!!

Let's see: